Obama denies he’s anti-semitic

President Obama

President Obama

President Obama told the Jewish publication, “Forward,” he was personally hurt and bothered by the accusation he’s anti-semitic, saying there’s no cause for the slinging of such slurs and suggesting he’d simply like to smooth ties with supporters of Israel.

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“There’s not a smidgen of evidence” to the claim, he said, the news outlet reported. “Other than the fact that there have been times where I’ve disagreed with a particular Israeli government’s position on a particular issue.”

Obama made the statement as part of his reach-out to the Jewish community to soothe concerns over the nuclear deal he’s pushing with Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several Jewish groups oppose the deal, saying it’s nearly a gift wrapped nuke for Tehran. And some in the political arena have come right out and suggested Obama’s deal reeks of anti-semitism.

“I think anything is anti-semitic if it’s against the survival of a state that is surrounded by enemies and by people who want to destroy them,” presidential hopeful Ben Carson said during a recent Fox News Sunday interview. “And to sort of ignore that and to act like everything is normal there and that these people are paranoid is anti-semitic.”

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, said the president’s push for the nuclear deal was like marching Israel to the “door of the oven,” an obvious reference to Nazi Germany days.

Part of the reason Obama’s seen by some as anti-semitic is that, in addition to the nuclear deal with Iran, he’s shown favor to those who aren’t in the friendship camp with Israel while simultaneously snubbing Israel.

In March 2015, for instance, Obama stopped short of congratulating Netanyahu on his reelection win. But as PJ Media pointed, he broke three decades of American silence to call the newly elected Iranian President Rouhani to offer congratulations. Obama also called Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, to offer his congratulations at his re-election success – and that was despite international and State Department accusations of poll rigging.



On NSA and Trump, Rand Paul isn’t afraid to battle giants

In what is perhaps an attempt to revive a GOP presidential campaign that many voters have forgotten about, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is increasing rhetoric about government surveillance, an issue that has made him popular among civil libertarians in the past. The Republican hopeful is also doubling down on condemnations of businessman Donald Trump, who continues to soak up the bulk of the presidential spotlight.

During a stop in Utah over the weekend, Paul visited the controversial National Security Agency data facility in Bluffdale to deliver a lofty promise.

“When I become President, we’ll convert it into a Constitutional Center to study the 4th Amendment! Bulk data collection must end,” Paul said during a photo op at the facility.

While it’s highly unlikely that the $1.5 billion NSA data hub is going to become a constitutional library anytime soon, Paul’s fight against the spy agency’s bulk data surveillance is nothing new.

The Kentucky lawmaker raised his national profile significantly in spring 2013, at the height of public controversy over government spying, with a 12-hour filibuster of the Senate’s confirmation of CIA Director John Brennan.

During that speech, Paul rallied against everything from the U.S.’s drone policy to the NSA’s bulk collection of communications metadata. In a later filibuster, Paul attempted to block renewal of the Patriot Act. And though he was partially successful, lawmakers quickly replaced it with the similarly intrusive USA Freedom Act.

Paul, last year, filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration in an attempt to force the White House to stop the NSA’s bulk data collection via presidential order.

The lawsuit, he said at the time, wouldn’t be necessary if he were elected: “The president created this vast dragnet by executive order. And as president on Day 1, I would immediately end this unconstitutional surveillance.”

“I believe we can have liberty and security, and I will not compromise your liberty for a false sense of security,” he added later.

Paul is completely right that the most intrusive of the United States’ post-9/11 surveillance laws were created by presidential fiat and could be similarly dismantled. But barring his election (followed by what would surely become a fierce power struggle between a Paul White House and hawks in Congress), it isn’t likely that the NSA will face much further scrutiny.

Either way, Paul faces an uphill battle as he continues his anti-surveillance mission.

Just last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned an injunction against the government’s data collection, arguing that the plaintiffs couldn’t prove that their constitutional rights had been personally violated by the program.

Add to that the fact that Paul’s presidential opponents routinely accuse him of threatening national security for political gain with his ant-surveillances rhetoric, and his message becomes increasingly difficult to frame for mainstream GOP audiences.

And before Paul ever gets a chance to convince average Republicans that fighting behemoth government surveillance is a worthy cause, he faces the added challenge of remaining relevant as he and the rest of the GOP field continue to be overshadowed by Trump.

Paul, perhaps more than any of his fellow GOP hopefuls, has repeatedly said that he believes Trump would make a terrible president.

On Monday, Paul told Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” that he believes a Trump nomination would lead to the worst GOP presidential defeat since Barry Goldwater’s ill-fated run against President Lyndon Johnson.

While Paul conceded that Trump’s massive polling lead is impressive, he said that the voter anger that has given rise to the businessman’s popularity would be better placed in a candidate with a solid record of advocating for smaller government.

“There is a lot of bluster and anger on Trump’s part, but a lot of his solutions are big government solutions,” Paul said. “I think eventually people are going to come to their senses and say, ‘Oh my God, I liked his angry vitriol. But I didn’t realize he was for gun control, Obamacare, increasing taxes and taking private property.’”

According to Paul, Trump’s positions on eminent domain ought to raise a major red flag for the small-government wing of the GOP.

“He has been a proponent of using eminent domain to take property from small property owners and use it to make business and make money for himself,” Paul said. “There was a case of a woman who had lived in a house for 30 years. He built a casino next door and when she wouldn’t sell, he used the government to take it from her.”

Paul, during a campaign stop on Saturday, borrowed Trump’s now-famous “make America great again” line and spun it to serve his small government message.

“I will spend every waking moment giving power to states and the people,” Paul said. I’m going to make America great again by leaving more money in your community.”

First, however, Paul needs to work on making his polling numbers great again. Real Clear Politics’ national average shows Paul polling at just 3.7 percent — behind Ben Carson (11 percent), Jeb Bush (9.7 percent), Ted Cruz (7.3 percent), Scott Walker (6.7 percent), Marco Rubio (6.3 percent), Carly Fiorina (5 percent), John Kasich (4.7 percent) and even Mike Huckabee (4.3) percent. Trump, by comparison, is holding strong at 25.7 percent.

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GOP establishment ‘to unleash on Trump after Labor Day’

CNN's Maeve Reston

CNN’s Maeve Reston

The Republican establishment is reportedly about to launch a massive blitz of commercials after Labor Day to take down front-runner Donald Trump in his quest for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

“The hottest conversation that’s going on right now in the donor community among the anti-Trump donors, is how do you take down Donald Trump, and what’s the vehicle to do it,” CNN’s Maeve Reston told her network colleague John King on Sunday.

But party officials are said to be too timid to attack Trump directly.

“There are a lot of donors out there who see it as much too dangerous, obviously, for the candidates, or their allied super PACs, to go after Trump,” Reston said. “So they’re looking to more establishment PACs to potentially take him down in post-Labor Day ads.”

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Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh saw the report, and agrees with the premise “the Republican establishment is preparing to unleash on Trump after Labor Day.”

“Now they aren’t going to do it with their fingerprints on it,” Limbaugh explained. “They are looking for PACs that have no ties to current Republican candidates. They don’t want any fingerprints of the party directly on whatever this smear of Trump is going to be.”

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

If the anti-Trump assault does materialize, Limbaugh said GOP leaders are “running a huge, huge risk. It looks to me like the Republican Party is being as obstinate and stubborn as it’s possible to be.”

Limbaugh noted, “There’s a lot to learn from this Trump campaign, this whole Republican primary has beaucoup (many) things to learn.

“If they’re not gonna take even one of them and try to adapt even one thing much less a whole lot of things, then they’re gonna be relegating themselves to minority status for I don’t know how long. Irrelevancy.”


Rocky Top embraces the gender-neutral PC madness

The University of Tennessee has become the latest public institution of higher learning to boldly step into the gender-neutral madness of political correctness.

Last week, Donna Braquet, the director for the Pride Center (UT’s official gay and lesbian outreach office), posted a set of online suggestions aimed at instructors, advising them not to “assume someone’s gender by their appearance, nor by what is listed on a roster or in student information systems.”

Braquet went further, suggesting that faculty drop altogether the use of gender-specific pronouns like “he” and “she” in favor of a word you may not have heard of: the supposedly gender-neutral, politically-correct pronoun “ze.”

Fortunately, the creators of “ze” burdened the word with the same set of declensional forms and word endings in order to show the word’s role in a sentence. That means you really have to learn this word in all its forms if you are, for some reason, serious about using it.

Sound confusing? Here’s a chart:


Here’s Braquet’s explanation of how this is supposed to be helpful:

In the first weeks of classes, instead of calling roll, ask everyone to provide their name and pronouns. This ensures you are not singling out transgender or non-binary students. The name a student uses may not be the one on the official roster, and the roster name may not be the same gender as the one the student now uses.

This practice works outside of the classroom as well. You can start meetings with requesting introductions that include names and pronouns, introduce yourself with your name and chosen pronouns, or when providing nametags, ask attendees to write in their name and pronouns.

… We are familiar with the singular pronouns she, her, hers and he, him, his, but those are not the only singular pronouns. In fact, there are dozens of gender-neutral pronouns.

A few of the most common singular gender-neutral pronouns are they, them, their (used as singular), ze, hir, hirs, and xe, xem, xyr.

These may sound a little funny at first, but only because they are new. The she and he pronouns would sound strange too if we had been taught ze when growing up.

The proposal has met with ridicule, but UT has so far kept Braquet’s post online. “We have paid people a lot of money to sit around and come up with this nonsense,” Tennessee State Rep. Bill Dunn told WATE News last week. “It makes me kind of mad.”

The university’s nudge toward political correctness comes at a time when the majority of Americans are pretty much fed up with it. Rasmussen released a poll Friday showing that 71 percent of adults believe excessive political correctness has, as Donald Trump famously said, become a big problem in the United States.

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Carson ties Trump in latest Iowa poll

Ben Carson

Ben Carson

Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson seems to be giving businessman Donald Trump a run for his money, closing in on the billionaire’s presidential lead with poll numbers on Monday showing a decided tie at the top of the Republican field in Iowa.

Both tout 23 percent among Iowa voters, Monmouth University’s survey found. And as far as favorability goes, Carson has Trump – well, trumped.

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Monmouth found Carson with an 81 percent favorability factor, compared to 6 percent, who dislike him, Politico reported. Trump, meanwhile, stands at a 52 percent favorability rating with voters – which is still decent, given his 47 percent favorability a month ago. Those disliking Trump stand at 33 percent, down slightly from 35 percent last month, the poll showed.

The two candidates are believed to be tapping into voter upset with the political establishment, and with professional politicos. Neither Carson nor Trump, nor emerging favorite Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard executive, have held political offices.

Monmouth found women prefer Carson to Trump, at 30 percent to 19 percent, while the opposite was true for Trump: Men preferred him over Carson, 27 percent to 17 percent. Carson also leads among the Evangelical voters, besting Trump in this category 29 percent to 23 percent.

Those participants who described themselves as very and somewhat conservative were split between Trump and Carson; those who said they were moderate and liberal chose Trump at 26 percent; Fiorina at 18 percent and Carson, 17 percent.

The survey was conducted Aug. 27-30, and included 405 likely caucus participants with a plus-or-minus margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.


Govt. man’s weird sexual fetishes gave wife ‘PTSD’

(NYPOST) — The top administrator for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office is a twisted fetishist who wore a chastity belt to work and diapers and a horse tail during sexual foreplay, according to court papers obtained by the Post.

Jeffrey Stein’s obsessions even involved his former boss, Rep. Kathleen Rice, with him paying a psychic to “determine” her romantic life, a Nassau Supreme Court divorce filing says.

Stein’s estranged wife, Carole Mundy, suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of his sexual antics, Mundy says in her divorce petition.


Illinois can’t pay its lottery winners

As former Democratic Rep. Barney Frank once famously said, “Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.”

But when it comes to playing (and winning) the lottery, the government in Illinois is sitting this one out.

Over the weekend, multiple new outlets began reporting that not-so-lucky big lottery winners in the Land of Lincoln are being told they have to wait if they want their payola. The state hasn’t arrived at a budget for the present fiscal year. And without one, nobody in government is allowed to cut the lottery winners their big checks.

“Without a state budget agreement two months into the new fiscal year, there’s no authority for the state comptroller to cut checks over $25,000. That means smaller winnings can be paid out, but not the larger lottery wins,” Time reported Saturday.

That means anyone to whom the state owes more than $25,000 is essentially getting an IOU, backed by the full faith and credit of the State of Illinois.

“With lawmakers in Springfield still not budging on a budget agreement, big lottery winners, like Danny Chasteen, are out of luck for now,” WGN reported. “Instead of paying off his bills with the $250,000 he won last month, Chasteen got an ‘I-O-U.’”

WGN also quoted a state legislator who pegged the deadline for getting a budget passed as “maybe never.”

The money’s there, a Reuters report assures. But what difference does that make?

Lottery winner Susan Rick told the Chicago Tribune that if it were the citizen who owed the state money, the Illinois government would just “come and take, and they don’t care whether we have a roof over our head.”

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